By Dylan Carlson Sirvent, ’19
Since April 16, UAHS’ Environmental Club has been hosting a fundraiser to raise money to buy a water pump for a community of about 300 to 400 people in Haiti. They have been working with the company LifePump which developed an innovative water pump, along with the Ohio-based engineering company SEEPEX, that would sustain water wells for longer periods of time.
In an official release to UAHS staff, the Environmental Club said that “something as simple as a water pump means a dramatic boost in quality of lifer for these people where potable water is not a guarantee.”
Senior Magnus Saebo, one of the organizers of the fundraiser said that it is important to help these communities.
“To put some perspective on the issue, the people of the communities have to walk miles to get water. When people have to walk miles daily or bi-daily they don’t have time to get an education or to find a job or to do a myriad of privileges that we take for granted because for us getting water is as easy as turning on the faucet,” Saebo said.
The club is modeling their fundraiser after UA alum Kate Jenning’s fundraiser last year for Conservation International that raised about $1,300. The club distributed “small containers” to participating teachers’ rooms along with an “FAQ paper with information on what the money is going to as well as what to tell students about the fundraiser.”
Saebo said that Environmental Club chose to partner with LifePump because it had the cheapest and most effective water pump in the market.
“LifePump’s founders noticed that many of the pumps being built by similar nonprofits needed frequent repairs and sometimes didn’t even reach far enough down in the ground to reach the water table,” Saebo said. “LifePump reinvented the water pump to be cheaper, more durable, and able to be drilled farther into the ground [to reach the water table].”
The price for a full pump is $10,000; however, Saebo said that even if they don’t raise the full amount every penny counts towards something.
“We are aware this is a formidable task,” Saebo said. “However, that being said, we are committed to achieving that goal as the profound effect just one pump can have on a community without readily available water is one that we believe will compel the people of this community.”
The fundraiser will end this Friday on April 20.